NEWS IN BRIEF – DEC 10, 2011

1. 89 Die In Kolkata Hospital Hellfire, Helpless Patients Suffocated By

Toxic Fumes: Kolkata: One of Kolkata’s better-known super-specialty

hospitals turned into a gas chamber in the early hours of Friday after a fire

in the basement pumped toxic fumes through the centrally-air-conditioned

building. At least 89 of the 164 patients have died and over 50 were

injured, some of them seriously. Three staff at the Advanced Medicare &

Research Institute (AMRI) hospital in Dhakuria are among the dead. [TOI

p1]

2. It’s a criminal offence, says Mamata : Kolkata : The West Bengal

government will use all its resources to give justice to the people and act

against those responsible for the “killing” of so many people, Chief

Minister Mamata Banerjee said here on Friday, after a fire ravaged a city

hospital claiming several lives. “It is a criminal offence; it is a crime,” she

said.[The Hindu p10]

3. Oppn stalls House, wants Krishna to go, BJP Seizes Opportunity To

Get Even With Cong On BSY’s Exit: New Delhi: The opposition

disrupted Parliament on Friday demanding the resignation of foreign

minister S M Krishna after the Karnataka Lokayukta registered a case

against him in connection with illegal mining during his tenure as chief

minister. [TOI p9]

4. Lokpal draft overlooks Aug resolution, Panel Includes Only 1 Of 3

Issues Flagged: New Delhi: The parliamentary panel on Lokpal has

envisaged setting up a nine member anti-corruption ombudsman with

constitutional status that will have supervisory powers over its

investigating and prosecuting authority but will not include within its ambit

redressal of public grievances and lower bureaucracy. [TOI p9]

5. ‘This Lokpal will not be effective’ : New Delhi : The recommendations

made in the Lokpal Bill report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on

Personnel and Law and Justice will not create an institution of Lokpal that

can effectively deal with corruption, Team Anna member Prashant

Bhushan has said.[TOI p12]

6. Opp, Team Anna slam Lokpal report : New Delhi : After the FDI in retail

fiasco, Government and Opposition are headed for a major showdown on

the Lokpal Bill. On the day the standing committee tabled its report on

Lokpal in parliament, the BJP blasted its recommendations and

Gandhian Anna Hazare decided to go on warpath against the

Congress.[Pioneer Daily p1]

7. I’ll fight toothless lokpal, says Anna : NEW DELHI:The lokpal bill draft

made public on Friday tried to strike a balance between opposing views,

but could not impress Anna Hazare, who is determined to launch a fresh

agitation.[HT p1]

8. BJP sees govt bid to kill Lokpal Bill, ‘It’s Been Made Complex To Foil

Passage’: New Delhi: Strongly disagreeing with the parliamentary

committee’s report on the Lokpal Bill, BJP claimed that the report was

unnecessarily made legally complex and expressed apprehension that the

exercise was an attempt to make passage of the legislation difficult in this

session. [TOI p21]

9. 162 BJP MPs Give Declarations on Black Money : NEW DELHI : In an

attempt to step up pressure on the government to take action on the black

money issue, BJP MPs on Friday gave declarations to presiding officers of

both Houses that they do not possess illegal wealth abroad. [ET p3]

10. Jaitley: Report made needlessly complex : New Delhi: The main

opposition party BJP has accepted the Team Anna’s invite to a one-day

protest over the Lokpal issue. Its prominent leaders are expected to share

the platform with civil society activists on Sunday. [TOI p9]

11. Krishna must go, demands BJP : NEW DELHI: The Opposition demand

for resignation of external affairs minister SM Krishna for his alleged role

in a mining scam led to repeated disruptions of both the Houses of

Parliament forcing their adjournment till Monday.[HT p9]

12. Lokpal report has no credibility: Team Anna : New Delhi: A fresh faceoff

between the government and Team Anna looks imminent, with the civil

society faction on Friday seizing upon the notes of dissent by members of

the Parliament’s standing committee on Lokpal to question the sanctity of

the report as a guideline for defining powers and jurisdiction of the

proposed anti-graft watchdog. [TOI p1]

13. Cong core group meets on Lokpal : NEW DELHI:The Congress top

brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party president

Sonia Gandhi, on Friday held consultations in the backdrop of plans by the

government to bring the Lokpal Bill in Parliament next week and Team

Anna’s opposition to certain provisions.[AA p2]

14. Unitech, Chandra to Seek Separate Trial : NEW DELHI : Mobile service

provider Unitech Wireless and the managing director of realty firm

Unitech, Sanjay Chandra, will file petitions in the special court that is

hearing the 2G case, seeking a separate trial, executives aware of the

development said.[ET p4]

15. A double for Cong in UP: RLD deal, Rasheed Masood in pocket : New

Delhi : On A day the Congress and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) finalised their

seat-sharing agreement for next year’s Uttar Pradesh assembly elections,

the ruling party at the Centre looked set to get a big boost to its prospects

in the state with senior Samajwadi Party leader and Rajya Sabha member

Rasheed Masood deciding to switch over to the Congress. SP supremo

Mulayam Singh Yadav was instrumental in fielding Masood as the third

front’s vice-presidential candidate in 2007.[IE p2]

16. Ajit Singh meets Rahul, Seals poll pact : New Delhi : The Congress

and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) have firmed up a poll pact for the assembly

elections in UP. RLD chief Ajit Singh and Congress general secretary

Rahul Gandhi met on Friday to give the final touches to the electoral

arrangement. RLD chief’s son and party MP Jayant Chaudhary was also

present in the meeting.[HT p9]

17. Ajit may be new civil aviation minister : New Delhi: The Congress’s

alliance with western UP based Rashtriya Lok Dal is expected any time

now, with Ajit Singh likely to get a plum Cabinet portfolio. [TOI p11]

18. Adarsh can open new bank account : CBI in apex court : New Delhi :

Scam-tainted Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society of Mumbai will now be

able to open a fresh account in a nationalised bank after the CBI gave the

green signal in the Supreme Court on Friday.[IE p9]

19. Cong Seals a Deal with Ajit’s RLD, Likely to part with 42-45 seats;

Singh to be accommodated in Union Cabinet: NEW DELHI : The

Congress on Friday wrapped up its seat-sharing talks with the Rashtriya

Lok Dal (RLD) for the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh polls. The political deal

between the two parties was worked out at a meeting between Rahul

Gandhi and Ajit Singh.[ET p2]

20. Report ‘Wrangled in Legalisms’: BJP, Looks like a lawyer’s draft

devoid of political & administrative sensibilities: Jaitley: NEW DELHI

: BJP, which dissented with the parliamentary panel’s recommendations

on the Lokpal bill, on Friday said there appeared to be an attempt to put

off the legislation’s passage by entangling the report in “legalisms”. [ET

p2]

21. Congress website hacked, Sonia’s profile page defaced : NEW

DELHI: Amid raging debate over the government’s proposal to crackdown

on ‘unacceptable” internet content, hackers broke into the Congress

Websites on Friday and defaced party chief Sonia Gandhi’s profile page

with objectionable material.[HT p9]

22. File FIR Against Vasundhara Raje, Court Asks Police : JAIPUR : A

local court in Jaipur has directed the police to lodge FIR against former

chief minister Vasundhara Raje on charges of misusing her chair for the

illegal allotment of government land to her son Dushyant Singh in Dholpur

during 2005-06 when she was the chief minister. [ET p3]

23. 1st peace party list for 40 for U.P. out : Lucknow : The Peace Party on

Friday released a list of 40 candidates for the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh

state Assembly elections. Peace party president Ayub will contest the

Khalilabad seat while Independent legislator Akhilesh Singh will be the

candidate for the Rae Bareli seat. Former BSP MLA Jitendra Singh

Babloo will contest the Bikapur seat.[AA p2]

24. Mayawati only CM of UP set to complete full five year- term :

Lucknow : As the UP Assembly elections draw closer, it is being hotly

debated whether Rahul Gandhi’s charisma or Mulayam Singh Yadav’s

political skills would succeed in removing BSP from power when the

country’s cow-belt, Uttar Pradesh, goes to polls. But whatever be the

result, one thing is sure that Mayawati will take the trophy for being the

only Chief Minister of UP to complete the full five-year term of the office

uninterrupted.[Pioneer Daily p2]

25. Thakurs move away from BSP on poll eve : LUCKNOW: In its efforts to

win back Brahmins, the Bahujan Samaj Party is now finding it difficult to

keep the Thakurs in good humour. The action initiated by the BSP against

some of its Thakur leaders has further worsened the party’s relationship

with the Thakur community while the active participation of Congress

leader Digvijay Singh and BJP leader Rajnath Singh in UP politics is

making Thakurs veer towards these two parties.[AA p2]

26. Mahipal Maderna’s Custody Extended in Bhanwari Case : JAIPUR : A

CBI Special Court has extended the custody of sacked Rajasthan minister

Mahipal Maderna and his aide Parasram Bishnoi for three days. The CBI

had arrested the duo on Friday last week in the Bhanwari Devi missing

case.[ET p3]

27. Uphaar victims kins recall 1997 tragedy : New Delhi : Every flame that

laps up a life reminds Neelam Krishnamoorthy of her two children whom

she lost to the Uphaar Cinema fire 14 years ago. Krishnamoorthy and all

the others who have been fighting for justice all these years point out that

such accidents happen due to the laxity in implementing the laws.[HT p4]

28. SC sets aside MLA’s election : New Delhi : The SC on Friday set aside

the election of Athagarh MLA Ramesh Rout in Orissa, faulting the

returning officer’s 2009 decision to reject the nomination papers of BJD

candidate and four-time winner Randendra Pratap Swain. [TOI p11]

29. BJP slams Sreedharan’s MCD remark : New Delhi: Metro chief E

Sreedharan’s views on the functioning of MCD and its trifurcation have not

gone down well with the BJP. In an exclusive interview to TOI on

Thursday, Sreedharan had questioned the need for a municipal body for

Delhi as the capital’s area is small.[TOI p6]

30. CBI seeks transfer of Chautala cases : New Delhi : The CBI filed an

application in a court here on Friday seeking the transfer of the three

disproportionate assets cases against former Haryana Chief Minister Om

Prakash Chautala and his sons which are being heard in different courts

to a single court.[The Hindu p6]

31. With eye on polls, civic body rejects all tax hikes : New Delhi :

Fearing fallout ahead of the MCD polls with the proposal of additional

taxes and introduction of new taxes, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi

(MCD) on Friday decided to reject all tax hikes including introduction of

congestion charges and sanitation tax in the city from April 2012

onwards.[Pioneer Daily p3]

LEGAL/CRIME NEWS

32. 11 acquitted in 2008 Jaipur blasts case : Jaipur : A Fast Track

Sessions Court here on Friday acquitted 11 of the 14 persons arrested

from Kota, Baran and Jodhpur in the aftermath of the May 2008 Jaipur

serial blasts. The court did not find any evidence that could connect the

accused with the alleged crime.[The Hindu p5]

EDITORIAL/OPINION

33. House of Mirrors : Barkha Dutt : At the heart of India’s body politic lies

the country’s Parliament. It is meant to pump blood and life into the veins

of public discourse. Or rather, this is how it was once conceived -in a burst

of idealism and good intention.[HT p12]

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

34. Zardari had mild stroke, face paralysis, Pak Prez Stable, May Be

Taken To London From Dubai For Advanced Treatment: Islamabad:

Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari’s has suffered a mini stroke and facial

paralysis and may be shifted to London for advanced treatment, a

Pakistani daily reported on Friday. [TOI p26]